Toyota Camry lives up to its reputation
Published: Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 21:02
The Toyota Camry has always had a reputation of being one of the best all-around cars that money can buy. Sure, it’s easy to claim your car is the best as soon as it rolls off the assembly line. And to be fair, Toyota maintains an impressive track record when comes to reliability. I’m sure those of you that own a Toyota can attest to this precedent.
But I wanted to see for myself. I decided to put their claims to the test and see if an older Toyota vehicle, a Camry in this case, holds its value like the company says it will over the years.
I managed to acquire a 2004 Toyota Camry SE for this road test. It had the 2.4 liter 4-cylinder with 88,548 miles on it, so the car had seen plenty of driving time.
Now, I have driven a couple Toyotas over the years and yes, on the surface, it is clear that they hold up their reliability, but this particular instance would be different. I wanted to see everything. I wanted to see in-and-out if this Camry was still in solid shape compared to new cars rolling off the lots today.
The car appeared to be well taken care of and so I didn’t think this car would be one of the cases where the previous owner had driven it into the ground. So, off I went.
Something about the Camry that has always impressed me is how powerful they are — especially for a 4-cylinder.
So I pulled out onto the road, and sure enough, the 4-cylinder propelled me up the hill with the ferocity of a turbo-charged V6. After a few more rapid acceleration maneuvers, I began to believe that the engine was still similar to the newer Camrys of today in terms of reliability and overall build quality.
I then went over some winding roads and put the car through its paces. It felt like a brand new machine. The steering was crisp and quick. The automatic transmission shifted right on cue every single time.
Nothing about this Camry felt used. At all. I didn’t even hear so much as a rattle in the cabin. I checked out some of the mechanical components (only what I had time for, of course) and it looked as pristine as ever, and nothing led me to believe that the mechanical aspects I didn’t inspect would be faulty.
I truly could find nothing wrong with this automobile — not even things one would typically expect to find on a car with 88,000 miles.
Toyota certainly talks the talk with their advertisements, but they also walk the walk in a big way. I must tip my hat to them. The Toyota Camry truly might be one of the best cars on the road.